The flurry of NBA Trade Deadline deals on Thursday afternoon includes a three-team trade with multiple centers involved. The Chicago Bulls have officially agreed to acquire Daniel Theis from the Boston Celtics in the most notable portion of the trade. To replace Theis, the Celtics have agreed to receive Mortiz Wagner from the Washington Wizards.
Read on for more on this intriguing three-team swap.
Bulls Frontcourt Makeover Continues with Trade for Theis
Daniel Theis is in fact the second new addition to the Chicago Bulls’ frontcourt. After trading for center Nikola Vucevic from the Orlando Magic earlier in the day, the Bulls have now added a second big-man to the picture by acquiring Theis. In 18.8 minutes per game this season, the 28-year-old is averaging 7.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks.
One has to give the Bulls props for making some moves at the NBA Trade Deadline and trying to improve. The outlook wasn’t great in the Windy City entering Thursday. As good as he is, Zach LaVine has had little to no consistent help this season. In Vucevic, the Bulls have obtained a second borderline superstar to pair with their dynamic shooting guard. Theis bolsters the frontcourt depth and figures to provide strong minutes off the bench behind Vucevic. Chicago could perhaps also opt to play them together at times as well.
Celtics Land Wagner as Trade Deadline Shuffles Center Position
After trading for Evan Fournier from the Orlando Magic earlier on Thursday, the Celtics extended their trade deadline shuffle to include the frontcourt in this latest deal. With Theis departing for Chicago, the Celtics managed to land center Mo Wagner as part of the compensation. Boston also landed 25-year-old center Luke Kornet in this deal, though he could easily be cut.
The 23-year-old Wagner has played sparingly for the Washington Wizards this season. While he has had some good games, Scott Brooks’ unwillingness to commit to a center in the wake of Thomas Bryant’s injury has rendered Wagner’s production inconsistent. On the year, he is averaging 6.9 points and 3.3 boards in 14.9 minutes. How he slots into a frontcourt that already includes Robert Williams III and Tristan Thompson remains to be seen.
Wizards Get Younger at Center by Acquiring Gafford
The Wizards are the one team in this three-team trade that likely has no shot at contending for a playoff spot this year. With that, the Wizards were willing to move some pieces around at the NBA Trade Deadline. Washington certainly gets an intriguing player back in this deal, in 22-year-old center Daniel Gafford.
The former Arkansas Razorback has played very limited minutes for the Bulls this season. He did post a few decent outings while Wendell Carter Jr. was sidelined by injury, but little else. Gafford’s season averages include 5.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in just 13.4 minutes. He has shown a strong presence on the defensive end though, with an average of 1.2 blocks per game.
The Wizards also acquired former 2018 first-round draft pick Chandler Hutchison in this trade. The 24-year-old had virtually no defined role for the Bulls this season, playing fewer than 10 minutes per game.
Celtics Dump Jeff Teague as Part of Evan Fournier Trade
Although this was not part of the three-team trade headlined by Daniel Theis, the Celtics were still tying up loose ends on one of their earlier moves. Along with two second-round draft picks, it has been reported that Boston is moving veteran point guard Jeff Teague to the Orlando Magic in the trade that brought Evan Fournier to the Celtics. Expect the Magic to buy out Teague’s contract, which will thus make him a free agent. Any number of playoff contenders may then look to bite and bolster their backcourt with a veteran presence.